• Thu. May 30th, 2024

Joking Aside: Memoirs by comedians that pack an emotional punch

ByAggie Bright

Feb 3, 2024
fox reading book

Delicacy by Katy Wix

Best known for her comic roles in Channel 4’s ‘Stath Lets Flats’ and BBC One’s ‘Ghosts’. Katy Wix’s memoir Delicacy tackles, in a meditative and darkly funny way, the trauma of grief, body image, loss and love. Each vignette is through the lens of different cakes – the bara brith eaten in hospital after a car crash or the sickly royal icing of childhood. Not limited by a linear storyline, her writing often feels like prose poetry as she explores flickering memories with searing emotional honesty.

Cheer the F**k Up: How to Save Your Best Friend by Jack Rooke

Creator of the Channel 4 comedy Big Boys which was based on his Edinburgh Fringe shows; Jack Rooke’s work often explores grief, depression and sexuality with his trademark warmth and references to daytime television. His memoir combines both autobiography and a constructive manual for how to help that friend you might be worried about.

This is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay

This is a collection of Kay’s diaries during his time as junior doctor, it tracks the shocking and sometimes heartbreaking moments of his medical career. He deals with frustrations with dry hilarity. He exposes the faults of the NHS, how it underpays and overworks its doctors, but never falters on the importance of universal healthcare. Kay has described it as a ‘love letter to the NHS’.

And Away… by Bob Mortimer

Known for the Vic and Bob double act, ‘Mortimer & Whitehouse: Gone Fishing’, and his notable appearances on ‘Would I Lie to You?’. Bob Mortimer’s memoir details what led him to his career as a comedian but a thread woven throughout the book are his reflections on mortality. With the death of his dad when he was just six years old and the sudden diagnosis of a heart condition requiring immediate surgery in 2015, Mortimer provides moving ruminations on his place in the world.

Ramble Book by Adam Buxton

Part of the comedy duo Adam and Joe prominent in the early 2000s, and more recently establishing ‘The Adam Buxton Podcast’. ‘Ramble Book’ contemplates, with a charming nostalgia, the importance of the films, TV, and music he grew up with but also more serious moments about the death of his dad. Adam Buxton allows his memoir to ramble as he goes off topic and sways into witty observations on childhood, boarding schools, grief, and family life.

oil-painting-by-renoir-of-a-fox-reading-a-book-in-a-cafe-null” by albyantoniazzi is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.